Since 2014, a multi-year, multi-species disease outbreak has progressed geographically along the Florida's Coral Reef from an origin near Virginia Key. Termed Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD), it affects over half of the stony coral species on the reef and generally results in 60-100% infection rates and 100% subsequent mortality. Susceptible species include five of the seven ESA-listed Caribbean coral species and most of the reef-building species.
A response priority has been active in-water intervention to treat diseased corals to allow for the survival of priority colonies. As such, a coral disease response strike team was established by Nova Southeastern University to treat and monitor diseased corals. Additional duties of this team included training other regional strike teams, collecting colonies for laboratory trials, conducting coral spawning activities, and providing additional field support. The strike team was contracted for 100 days of in-water work. This report outlines the activities undertaken and results of work conducted July 1, 2019 to June 15, 2020.
May 7, 2021 - 3:57pm
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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.